A James Beattie penalty was enough to give Southampton a 1-0 victory at ten-man Aston Villa FC on Monday.
A James Beattie penalty just after half-time was enough to give Southampton a 1-0 Premiership victory at Aston Villa FC tonight.
Villa's Finnish goalkeeper Peter Enckelman was dismissed as a result of the incident which led to the spot-kick and was replaced by Dutchman Stefan Postma, whose first job on his Premiership debut was to pick the ball out of the net.
The second period had just begun when Villa's Turkish defender Alpay Özalan misjudged a long ball into the area and Enckelman was forced to come out and challenge visiting striker Brett Ormerod.
Ormerod went down and Enckelman, who was pilloried after conceding a freakish goal in a local derby against Birmingham City FC last month, was shown the red card. Villa had the better of the first half and pressed Southampton hard for the remainder of the second period but to no avail.
Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi hailed his side's 1-0 win as a "brilliant result" after frustrating Villa with a man-of-the-match performance. "All away games are difficult in this league and we deserved to win," he said. "Aston Villa played better after they got a player sent off. It was difficult but we handled it well."
Villa manager Graham Taylor, who was booed by the home support at the final whistle, said: "We've had a poor start and when you get results like we've been getting you expect that sort of reaction. I don't like using the word crisis in football terms. We have not scored in seven out of ten Premiership matches and that is why we are under pressure."